GRWebDev Presents Dan Lindeman: Hard Questions Answered with Python


Ever ask yourself, "Who did I lend that book to?"

I love reading books, but I love lending them out even more! In order to keep track of my personal library, a daunting task indeed, I’ve employed Python, a Raspberry Pi, and an RFID reader. Take a tour through what it’s like working with hardware, Python, and putting it all together into a useful web application. This is a beginner friendly talk, so don’t worry if you’ve never worked with hardware.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is here to stay, but getting started can seem intimidating. Inspired by the magical checkout process at our local library, I began the journey of building my own IoT book lending application. Along the way, I discovered that Python was consistently able to make the impossible seem approachable!

We’ll start with a base installation of Raspbian on a Raspberry Pi and find that Python is already there waiting to help. Then we’ll hook up an RFID reader to our Pi, and see that even though it has wires and pins, it’s nothing to be scared of. With the RFID reader and the fantastic MFRC522-python library, we’re able to read and write data to RFID stickers, neat!

We could stop here, but we’ve got Python, so let’s hook it up to a Flask app and end at a complete book lending application. I hope attendees will gain an appreciation for the technology all around them, their local library, and how powerful Python is. I hope to demystify working with hardware and dispel some perceived barriers to entry for IoT applications.

Dan Lindeman is a Software Engineer from Grand Rapids, MI. When not learning a new language, framework, or piece of tech, Dan enjoys Pine Needle Basket Weaving, Nintendo games, and anything involving renewable energy.

An educator-turned-developer, Dan got his start in the software industry testing embedded automotive infotainment systems. He recently earned his Masters in Computer Science with an emphasis on Distributed Systems at at Grand Valley State University.

This month's meetup is graciously sponsored by TEKsystems. TEKsystems guides businesses through the use of technological solutions, unleashing the power of data and people. TEKsystems Grand Rapids is very much involved in the local tech community, hosting and sponsoring numerous meetups including West Michigan Agile and the Grand Rapids Java Users group. Learn more at

6:15pm - 6:30pm ... Networking / Social / Pizza
6:30pm - 6:45pm ... Introduction
6:45pm - 7:30pm ... Presentation
7:30pm - 7:45pm ... Q&A
7:45pm ... Conclusion